When December hits it is as though something occurs to the way that timeframes, deadlines and priorities, which usually are taken in your stride, somehow seem to impact harder.
The annual shut-down of a business equally has an impact on the way that you feel and think. It seems to feel as though you are more tired and your tolerance is lower. However, it is simply the anticipation that the end of the year means a break from the day to day.
Psychologically and physiologically it is interesting to note that your brain and body knows that there is a shut-down coming and it equally goes into its own version of a shut-down.
What happens is that your mind and your emotions gather together the entirety of what has happened, what has been faced, the challenges and the successes of the year. This is what causes that feeling as though you are literally carrying the whole year on your shoulders. In a way you are.
However, the purpose of this is to prepare you to reflect, restore and revitalise for the coming year. The mind assesses what has occurred and how certain events transpired. Then this is compounded by the emotional reaction to these events.
The need of a holiday is actually a need to remove you from the day to day to enable the mind, and equally body, to rebalance and revitalise.
What can commonly occur is that during this time of year, where others have undergone a professional shut-down, there is a thought that it seems silly to not work a couple of days to do for that client or two. However, if there has been no substantial break or holiday through the year, then this may cost you in the coming year.
A break, a shut-down, a holiday as it were, is not so much about going away to some glorious, tropical island; it is about giving yourself the permission to literally rest. This priority must outweigh the temptation of extra money for the simple fact, that if your body and mind did not need it, then you would not feel this way. It would be simply another day, another month and of no consequence.
With this said, it does not mean that it must be wasted or feel as though it is empty time, as it provides the opportunity to take this reflection that one step further.
In the last week of your working year try this:
•Make a list of ten things that you have achieved for the year – irrelevant if they are big or small.
◦Next to each one, make note of why you classify this is an achievement to you.
•Then on the next page write down a list of ten things you aspire to achieve in the coming year.
Note: This is not to be taken as a New Year’s Resolution. It is to be considered part of your actual goals – be it work or personal.
◦Next to each one, make note of why this will improve where you are right now.
The purpose of this is interesting.
Every time you acknowledge your achievements and why this is of relevance. You are validating that every effort that you have made was for a good reason and equally, substantiates that what you do matters – to you and your life.
Every year that you reflect and plan, you are preparing your mind and your body for the coming year with excitement, not pressure, as these ten things are going to happen to some extent anyway. However, with a bit of focus, you can create a much bigger impact and better results.
When this has been done, you will find listening to your mind and your body —what it is wanting— is more obvious and easier to hear. The more you listen, the more you create the opportunity in assisting you to perform optimally throughout the year, for the whole year.
When the annual shut-down occurs and you feel the pressure of the year sit upon you, then you know that it is time for you to shut-down too.